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Saint John artist Norman Jackson paints in public for charity

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WATCH ABOVE: Well-known Saint John artist Norman Jackson grew up in poverty and says it's time to give back. As Global's Andrew Cromwell reports the 75 year old paints in public for the first time in aid of a local soup kitchen – Jan 22, 2017

A Saint John artist who been recognized internationally is giving back to his community in a unique way.

Norman Jackson has been selling his artwork and given half of the proceeds to the local Romero House Soup Kitchen for more than a year.

Since he grew up in poverty, he says it’s a way to give back. Now he’s stepping it up a notch with a painting demonstration at the Cedarcrest Gardens winter market.

“So now I’m 75,” Jackson said. “I’ve been painting for 65 years so I decided to help Romero House.”

During the painting demonstration he’ll paint from scratch, and the finished product is to be sold.

For Jackson he says it’s the first time he’s painted in public, something he says most artists would rather not do.

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“Some people know me but have never seen me paint,” he said. “My son has never seen me paint. I mean, he’s 47 and my daughter has never seen me paint, so its different.”

“He is a beautiful painter and I just decided to stay and watch him,” said Alena Shatalova, who was watching the demonstration. “He’s doing a beautiful job painting and I was just curious about that.”

“I’ve seen a lot of Norm’s paintings,” said friend Greg Stewart. “As a matter of fact I have several of them in my house and my office already.”

Jackson estimates he has painted about a thousand pictures over the years.

Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record, called “The Babe Looks On” sits in Cooperstown New York at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Another, Jackson says is his favourite and most well known, called “In This Decade.” It depicts the late JFK overlooking the lunar landing in 1969. That rests in the Neil Armstrong Museum.

As for his immediate plans, Jackson says he plans on continuing his weekly demonstrations every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until March.